Russian experts to assess security at Egyptian airports on 28 August

Ahram Online , Tuesday 16 Aug 2016

Sharm El-Sheikh Airport
File Photo: Tourists get their bags checked at the airport of Sharm el-Sheikh, in this November 6, 2015 photo (Photo: Reuters)

A Russian delegation of experts is set to visit the Egyptian airports of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada on 28 August to assess strengthened security measures, Russian news agency TASS reported a member of the Red Sea Tourism Investors Association as saying to local Egyptian media.

In statements to Al-Ahram newspaper on Saturday, association member Tamer Nabil said that the visit will aim to examine security arrangements made by Egyptian authorities.

According to TASS, Moscow's specialists will prepare a final report on the possible resumption of flights from Russia to the resort towns after ten months of suspension following the deadly crash of a Russian plane last October that had taken off from Sharm El-Sheikh.

In a July trip to Moscow, Egypt's civil aviation minister, Sherif Fathy, extended an invitation to the Russian technical team to visit Egypt soon in hope of resuming direct flights between the two countries.

Fathy and an Egyptian security and technical delegation held several sessions with Russian counterparts on the latest developments related to security in Egyptian airports, with security measures in airports enhanced in preparation for the return of flights.

The Airbus A321, operated by the Russian air carrier Kogalymavia, crashed over Sinai on 31 October while heading to St. Petersburg, killing all 224 people on board. 

Russia's investigative committee has officially classified the plane crash as a terrorist attack, after an Islamic State militant group affiliate in Sinai claimed responsibility for bringing down the airliner with a bomb.

Egypt's domestic investigation committee has yet to release any findings on the cause of the crash.

A number of countries, including the UK, Germany and Russia, halted flights to some Egyptian airports in the wake of the crash, with severe impacts for Egypt's tourism industry.

Tourism is an important source of foreign currency for Egypt. The country has been seeking billions in foreign financing facilities to address a severe hard currency shortage, with foreign reserves down to $15.5 billion in July. 

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